This is a regular roundup of some of the latest mobile application startup launches in travel covering everything from trip inspiration and planning to virtual assistants.
What is it?
LocalBini aims to help travellers find experiences by connecting them with locals. Travellers can book experiences in advance or on-the-go. Users book an experience with a 'BiniGuide' via the app with all experiences offered privately.
Is there a problem you're trying to solve:
Five problems we are addressing:
- The inadequacy of the experiences on offer: we want to provide travellers with an alternative to mass, generic, and standardised tourist experiences. We want to provide experiences that are uniquely suited to a traveller’s interests, conducted by people who are genuinely passionate about their field of expertise.
- Lack of access to the right information: travellers are often fed generic information that has been memorised by the tour guide. Our BiniGuides are experts in their fields of interest and have more to share than just facts and historical dates; they have personal stories and experiences.
- Online travel booking is a tedious process: due to the plethora of travel information available online, travellers can spend hours comparing travel deals and trying to decide which list of “top ten things to do” in a city suits their needs and interests the most. We aim to provide a reliable platform that people can turn to when they seek to discover the best that a destination has to offer. Our specially designed algorithm can be counted upon to provide travellers with experiences that match their interests.
- Limited resources available for spontaneous travellers: travellers who book their trips last minute often arrive at their destination quite uncertain about how to make the most of it. Our unique 'Around Me Now' feature allows travellers to book experiences instantly, with as little as ten minutes notice. We aim to provide quality on-demand without requiring travellers to do their research months in advance.
Who is behind it?
- Absence of quality control: while there are a few platforms offering travel experiences with locals, the inconsistency of the experiences on offer, as well as the informal manner in which transactions are conducted, makes it hard for travellers to find a service they can trust and rely on. Quality control is a key concern of LocalBini, as all of our BiniGuides go through an extensive application process that includes a personal interview. Moreover, both their profile and their experiences have to be approved by our team before they can be publicly listed. In addition to this, we offer an easy cashless payment system, and only charge travellers 24 hours after the experience has taken place.
Mateusz Mierzwinski is the founder and chief executive. He has a background in investment banking.
LocalBini has received its first round of funding and is about to begin its second.
What is it?
Weflock aims to bring a social element to the waiting around at airports by enabling passengers to meeting and share insights. Users log in to the app via LinkedIn or Facebook, select their flight and see who else is on the same plane. Users can also share why they are travelling to a destination and potentially arrange to meet up for a drink or even share a taxi.
Is there a problem you're trying to solve?Research shows that 67% of travellers would travel more often if the airport and the pre-flight experience was better (Mobile Travel Technologies). That experience is exactly what we're trying to improve.
Who's behind it?
Weflock was started by Job Dams and Wesley Soeters, who are from the Netherlands but based in London. They previously worked at LinkedIn together.
Weflock secured a small friends and family round.
What is it?
Been helps travellers tap into the recommendations of friends to discover places. The app enablers users to share places and reviews with friends as well as get to know what's nearby through what others have experienced. Users can also search for restaurants, hotels, bars and other areas of interest.
Is there a problem you're trying to solve?
Been provides users with trusted opinions and reviews from their friends and family. With Been, users do not have to weave through the opinions of strangers, similar to apps and websites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.
Who's behind it?
Founded by Zach Chandis, he began his career in the finance industry working in special situations, investment banking, and private equity. Zach as a BA from Harvard University.
NB: Image via BigStock